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Hubble gazes at galactic globular cluster NGC 6355
The scattered stars of the globular cluster NGC 6355 are strewn across this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. NGC 6355 is a galactic globular cluster that resides in our Milky Way galaxy's inner regions. It is less than 50,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Ophiuchus.
Globular clusters are stable, tightly bound groups of tens of thousands to millions of stars that are associated with all types of galaxies. Their dense populations of stars and mutual gravitational attraction give these clusters a roughly spherical shape that holds a bright, central concentration of stars surrounded by an increasingly sparse sprinkling of stars. The dense, bright core of NGC 6355 shines in crystal-clear detail as Hubble is able to resolve individual stars in the crowded area toward the center of this image.
Hubble has revolutionized the study of globular clusters. It is almost impossible to distinguish individual stars in globular clusters with ground-based telescopes. Hubble's unique capabilities and vantage point above Earth's light-distorting atmosphere allow it to capture a globular cluster's constituent stars in detail. This image contains data from Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3.
Provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center